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High Court says no to the compo shagger

By johnboy - 30 October 2013 57

News is just coming in that the Canberra public servant who tried to claim workers comp for injuries incurred while wrecking a hotel room with rough trade picked up in Nowra (and rough trade comes little rougher) has been ruled against by the High Court of Australia.

Her heroic efforts will, however, have implications for everyone else injured out of hours while on work trips.

The High Court’s thoughts on the matter are available:

The High Court allowed Comcare’s appeal. A majority of the High Court held that in order for an injury sustained in an interval or interlude during an overall period of work to be in the course of an employee’s employment, the circumstances in which the employee was injured must be connected to an inducement or encouragement by the employer. If the employee is injured whilst engaged in an activity at a certain place, that connection does not exist merely because of an inducement or encouragement to be at that place. When the circumstances of an injury involve the employee engaging in an activity at the time of the injury, the relevant question is: did the employer induce or encourage the employee to engage in that activity? On the facts of the respondent’s case, the majority held that the answer to that question was ‘no’.

What’s Your opinion?


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High Court says no to the compo shagger
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MightyJoe 11:35 am 06 Nov 13

Ah then you don’t know the first thing about torts / litigation (or whatever it is)… you sue the biggest fish… i.e. the Commonwealth.

Additionally, if you use the ‘But for’ test that they teach lawyers… but for not humping like a rabbit, said claimant would not have injured herself.

I rest my case…

Robertson said :

IrishPete said :

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

Yes, exactly. Burnt by a faulty hot water system. Slipped on a broken tile or poorly draining floor. Falling while stepping out of a shower over bath, or falling in the bath (someone I know did that at home and it was four hours before he could move far enough to call a doctor; he was off work for weeks, and ran out of sick leave). All of these risks are things you can control in your own home, and have no control over in a motel or hotel.

…in which case the Hotel or Motel is responsible and can be sued. Not your employer.

KB1971 11:08 am 06 Nov 13

Felix the Cat said :

“snip”

I have no problems with genuine accidents as such.

However, we need to be careful not to take away all notions of personal responsibility.

For instance, I am on a work trip, have a few beers and decide to hit a night club until 3am. On the way home I stagger drunkenly onto a road and get run over.

Hypothetical I know, but should I be compensated for this? After all, it is a work trip, I am in an unfamiliar environment, my work mates insisted I come out with them.

I idon’t think you should be covered for compo while intoxicated (or under influence of drugs). This is different issue to having sex.

This ^^

Our work has scrict alcahol and drug policies and then there is the Public Service Act……….

Robertson 10:27 am 06 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

Yes, exactly. Burnt by a faulty hot water system. Slipped on a broken tile or poorly draining floor. Falling while stepping out of a shower over bath, or falling in the bath (someone I know did that at home and it was four hours before he could move far enough to call a doctor; he was off work for weeks, and ran out of sick leave). All of these risks are things you can control in your own home, and have no control over in a motel or hotel.

…in which case the Hotel or Motel is responsible and can be sued. Not your employer.

Felix the Cat 10:24 am 06 Nov 13

Thumper said :

KB1971 said :

Thumper said :

No doubt time to wrap everyone in cotton wool.

Seriously, it’s a dangerous world out there. What with unfamiliar showers, water, soap, light fittings….

I really hope people like you have to go through something like this one day.

A mate of mine who is an interstate truck driver fell off the back of his truck in a Depot in Brisbane. He was performing a task he has done 1000 times at a depot he was familiar with. He smashed his leg as spent 3 months in hospital up there.

All this while his wife was at home with the kids and unable to go and see him……three months.

‘So what;’ you might say, ‘he was working when it happened’.

Maybe so but what if he had knocked off for the day, had been sleeping in the truck and fell out while going for a pee? He is tired and groggy. The truck is still familiar to him but he had an accident anyway and it is on his time.

His employer should still bear the responsibility because they compelled him to be there. No different to travel for the Government.

Get a grip, people hurt themselves in all sorts of situations which in hindsight look stupid but at the time, until the incident happens, are not so stupid.

I have no problems with genuine accidents as such.

However, we need to be careful not to take away all notions of personal responsibility.

For instance, I am on a work trip, have a few beers and decide to hit a night club until 3am. On the way home I stagger drunkenly onto a road and get run over.

Hypothetical I know, but should I be compensated for this? After all, it is a work trip, I am in an unfamiliar environment, my work mates insisted I come out with them.

I idon’t think you should be covered for compo while intoxicated (or under influence of drugs). This is different issue to having sex.

Thumper 9:22 am 06 Nov 13

KB1971 said :

Thumper said :

No doubt time to wrap everyone in cotton wool.

Seriously, it’s a dangerous world out there. What with unfamiliar showers, water, soap, light fittings….

I really hope people like you have to go through something like this one day.

A mate of mine who is an interstate truck driver fell off the back of his truck in a Depot in Brisbane. He was performing a task he has done 1000 times at a depot he was familiar with. He smashed his leg as spent 3 months in hospital up there.

All this while his wife was at home with the kids and unable to go and see him……three months.

‘So what;’ you might say, ‘he was working when it happened’.

Maybe so but what if he had knocked off for the day, had been sleeping in the truck and fell out while going for a pee? He is tired and groggy. The truck is still familiar to him but he had an accident anyway and it is on his time.

His employer should still bear the responsibility because they compelled him to be there. No different to travel for the Government.

Get a grip, people hurt themselves in all sorts of situations which in hindsight look stupid but at the time, until the incident happens, are not so stupid.

I have no problems with genuine accidents as such.

However, we need to be careful not to take away all notions of personal responsibility.

For instance, I am on a work trip, have a few beers and decide to hit a night club until 3am. On the way home I stagger drunkenly onto a road and get run over.

Hypothetical I know, but should I be compensated for this? After all, it is a work trip, I am in an unfamiliar environment, my work mates insisted I come out with them.

KB1971 8:59 am 06 Nov 13

Thumper said :

No doubt time to wrap everyone in cotton wool.

Seriously, it’s a dangerous world out there. What with unfamiliar showers, water, soap, light fittings….

I really hope people like you have to go through something like this one day.

A mate of mine who is an interstate truck driver fell off the back of his truck in a Depot in Brisbane. He was performing a task he has done 1000 times at a depot he was familiar with. He smashed his leg as spent 3 months in hospital up there.

All this while his wife was at home with the kids and unable to go and see him……three months.

‘So what;’ you might say, ‘he was working when it happened’.

Maybe so but what if he had knocked off for the day, had been sleeping in the truck and fell out while going for a pee? He is tired and groggy. The truck is still familiar to him but he had an accident anyway and it is on his time.

His employer should still bear the responsibility because they compelled him to be there. No different to travel for the Government.

Get a grip, people hurt themselves in all sorts of situations which in hindsight look stupid but at the time, until the incident happens, are not so stupid.

Thumper 11:14 pm 05 Nov 13

IrishPete said :

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

Yes, exactly. Burnt by a faulty hot water system. Slipped on a broken tile or poorly draining floor. Falling while stepping out of a shower over bath, or falling in the bath (someone I know did that at home and it was four hours before he could move far enough to call a doctor; he was off work for weeks, and ran out of sick leave). All of these risks are things you can control in your own home, and have no control over in a motel or hotel.

IP

No doubt time to wrap everyone in cotton wool.

Seriously, it’s a dangerous world out there. What with unfamiliar showers, water, soap, light fittings….

Masquara 10:50 pm 05 Nov 13

nemesisrocks said :

This woman should be named and shamed, preferably on Today Tonight or the likes. If it was a man making the claim, I doubt the courts would have allowed his name to be suppressed.

How is her identity relevant? I agree with the final judgement, but absolutely she should be protected from being ridiculed by prurient and juvenile people.

IrishPete 7:14 pm 05 Nov 13

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

Yes, exactly. Burnt by a faulty hot water system. Slipped on a broken tile or poorly draining floor. Falling while stepping out of a shower over bath, or falling in the bath (someone I know did that at home and it was four hours before he could move far enough to call a doctor; he was off work for weeks, and ran out of sick leave). All of these risks are things you can control in your own home, and have no control over in a motel or hotel.

IP

IrishPete 7:10 pm 05 Nov 13

I heard most of a discussion of this on the Law Report this afternoon http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lawreport/what-is-and-what-isn27t-a-work-related-injury3f/5068942#transcript

I was unaware that CommCare had argued that injuring yourself in the hotel gym would also not be covered.

This is the thin end of a very nasty wedge. Perhaps people covered by CommCare (federal and ACT public servants, perhaps others too) should refuse to go away for work. The argument that you could have injured yourself in the gym or shower at home, or crossing the road to get to work, is spurious. At home you know the environment and you take your own risks. When work sends you to a small country town to stay in dodgy motels, but basically puts you at different risks from what you are used to, then work has caused you to be in the situation that resulted in the injury.

The law professor’s point about having sex with your partner is apt. If work gave you permission to take your partner with you and stay in the same room, are you then covered or not covered? Surely partners would be expected to have sex (perhaps not every night) when away from home and the kids? And if a light fitting falls on you, then you should be covered.

The issue seems to be vagueness about what cover you have when on a work trip involving staying away from home overnight. CommCare is going to argue for the absolute minimum, and that’s not a position any reasonable person should support.

Why have the unions been silent on this case?

IP

Felix the Cat 2:25 pm 02 Nov 13

dtc said :

Blen_Carmichael said :

And costs were awarded. That’s got to hurt a hell of a lot more than hitting a loose light fitting.

I would tell you what actually happened about costs (its in the case) but I wont just so that those who have clearly not understood the issue but nonetheless are ranting and raving about the decision might head off to actually read the case, or the summary, and find out about the unusual costs situation…and learn why they are making irrelevant arguments that have nothing to do with the case itself.

And also find something else to get themselves into a lather about.

Enlighten us. I didn’t read anything in the link in the OP that hasn’t already been said in OP or various other regurgitated media articles.Nothing in there I can see relating to why costs were awarded.

Blen_Carmichael 2:24 pm 02 Nov 13

dtc said :

Blen_Carmichael said :

And costs were awarded. That’s got to hurt a hell of a lot more than hitting a loose light fitting.

I would tell you what actually happened about costs (its in the case) but I wont just so that those who have clearly not understood the issue but nonetheless are ranting and raving about the decision might head off to actually read the case, or the summary, and find out about the unusual costs situation…and learn why they are making irrelevant arguments that have nothing to do with the case itself.

And also find something else to get themselves into a lather about.

My mistake about the costs and thanks for the clarification.

nemesisrocks 9:59 am 02 Nov 13

This woman should be named and shamed, preferably on Today Tonight or the likes. If it was a man making the claim, I doubt the courts would have allowed his name to be suppressed.

dtc 10:41 pm 31 Oct 13

Blen_Carmichael said :

And costs were awarded. That’s got to hurt a hell of a lot more than hitting a loose light fitting.

I would tell you what actually happened about costs (its in the case) but I wont just so that those who have clearly not understood the issue but nonetheless are ranting and raving about the decision might head off to actually read the case, or the summary, and find out about the unusual costs situation…and learn why they are making irrelevant arguments that have nothing to do with the case itself.

And also find something else to get themselves into a lather about.

KB1971 5:16 pm 31 Oct 13

astrojax said :

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

well, just sayin’ – go read the dissenting reports (and not my appalling typos [gulp]) i am guessing you’ve not had to travel far fro work, then?

& when he does I hope the first hooker gives him syphillis, try claiming that on compo…….. 😛

astrojax 4:31 pm 31 Oct 13

Robertson said :

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

well, just sayin’ – go read the dissenting reports (and not my appalling typos [gulp]) i am guessing you’ve not had to travel far fro work, then?

Robertson 3:18 pm 31 Oct 13

astrojax said :

being in a non-usualy environment, travelling for work, even having a shower is not ‘usua’, rather, you’d be showering in non-familiar environs.

OMG! I have to SHOWER in UNFAMILIAR environs!!!
HEeeeeLLLLppPPP!!!!!!!!

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